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Knuckle grease adapter

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by Photoman, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    There has been alot of talk lately about adding grease to the knuckles. Here is an adapter that I talked about back on SOR and just thought it might make it easier for someone now. It's just a 3/8" pipe to 1/8" pipe bushing that can be purchased at any auto parts or hardware store. (Brass, black pipe, or galvanized, it does not matter. Just buy and install a 1/8" pipe grease zerk and you are in business.
    The instructions are to remove the stock pipe plug (a 1/2" eight point socket will work), turn the adapter in HAND tight or very slightly with a wrench, add your grease, remove the adapter, reinstall the plug. The reason to not overtighten is twofold - there should be no pressure in the knuckle that you have to overcome, and, the taper of the 3/8" pipe threads is a little different than the stock plug. The stock plug starts off about .010" smaller than the adapter so you will only get about three threads on the adapter before it gets tight and you don't want to strip it.
    Of course, maybe everyone already has one of these.

    Bill
     
  2. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Any reason not to just leave the thing in there?
     
  3. valentine

    valentine

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    I don't understand how that would help out...?

    Why not just take the plug out, stick the end of the grease gun hose in the hole and pump away? Works great for me.


    Nick
     
  4. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    [quote author=landtank link=board=2;threadid=13127;start=msg121151#msg121151 date=1079312549]
    Any reason not to just leave the thing in there?
    [/quote]

    Yes there is. As Bill stated the fit is not "perfect" I would be concerned about the long term sealing properties of the set-up. Now if one were to drill out the OEM plug and fit a zerk in it, I would think that to be a tad better.

    "Why not just take the plug out, stick the end of the grease gun hose in the hole and pump away? Works great for me."

    If it were set up in the above manner ,one would not need to break out the wrenches, just the grease gun.
     
  5. Darwood

    Darwood

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    I thought the general consensus was that pumping grease into this hole really didn't do much. After seeing where the hole goes I concur that at most it will grease the bottom knuckle bearings.
     
  6. valentine

    valentine

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    [quote author=cruiserdan link=board=2;threadid=13127;start=msg121190#msg121190 date=1079317112]
    If it were set up in the above manner ,one would not need to break out the wrenches, just the grease gun.

    [/quote]

    Thats true, but in his directions, he writes "add your grease, remove the adapter, reinstall the plug."

    In that case, you are already breaking out your tools, and doing twice the work.

    I see your point if you were to leave it in there, but I like to check my progress since I use an air operated grease gun with the "regular" size grease tubes, not the "mini tubes" and don't want to over fill it :)

    Nick
     
  7. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Darwood, keeping the knuckle half full helps hold the grease in the joint itself. As the level of grease in the knuckle lowers the grease in the joint oozes out. I like the idea of a zerk always right there for convience.
     
  8. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    What I usually do is when I change the oil and grease the driveshafts is just maybe add three or four pumps to the knuckles. I made it for a couple of reasons. One is sometimes a grease gun nozzle is too large to fit in the plug hole. Sometimes the grease gun nozzle has dirt on it in the grooves and I don't want to stick that down in the knuckle grease. Third, even though I clean around the plug when I take it out, if I just stick the nozzle it there, the hose etc. can knock dirt down from around the area and with the plug open can get in the knuckle especially if you wheel.
    As far as putting it in permanently, first it only catches two or three threads. I tried to run it in a die deeper since most pipe threads are tapered. The 11/16" nut part of the bushing hits the die before you can make much difference. Second I was worried about the zerk catching on high grass etc. and causing either itself or the ball problems. Most importantly, the reason I did not want it in permanently was for some that do not do their own servicing or if the vehicle is sold to someone else then some lube shop is going to see a zerk and not only put in the wrong grease, but probably pump it till they see grease coming out past the wipers.

    Bill
     
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